a real-life conversation about salary with a hiring manager — Ask a Manager

here are the 10 best questions to ask your job interviewer — Ask a Manager

A reader writes:

A short, sweet note about how I used your advice to tackle salary talk during an initial phone chat with the hiring manager:

Hiring manager: While we’re talking about cost of living, can I ask your salary expectation for the role?

Me: (casual laugh) Actually, I was just about to ask you what your budget for the role is.

Hiring manager: (laugh) Oh! Hum…. I think I can pull that up. Give me a second…
(She tappity-tapped on the line. I waited, and bit my lip so I didn’t nervous-babble anything about steep rental prices in the area, and waited.)

Hiring manager: So the number I have here is X.

Me: (long pause) Oh…kay. That’s a little lower than I would have expected. Is that the bottom of the range, or…?

Hiring manager: No, that’s the top of the range.

Me: (pause again) Mm.

Hiring manager: We’re actively reviewing it at the end of this cycle. In my view it’s a bit low, I agree with you there. So either we need a pay band increase or a title change.

Me: Yeah … for this role I would have ballparked more like X+10%.

Hiring manager: Okay! I don’t know that we’ll get all the way there in this cycle, but I am pushing to nudge it closer to your number. I think that’s what the role is worth anyway.

Me: That’s great.

Hiring manager: We can definitely keep it in mind as we proceed. Moving on…

Oh, and the lower number she gave? Is still 50% higher than my last salaried role. Don’t settle for being underpaid and taken advantage of, kids.

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